The Mephisto Rainbow: Where Style Meets Comfort
When Mephisto founder and designer Martin Machalei first drew up the designs for the Rainbow shoe – he set out to design the best shoe in the world. This is a bold claim to put on anything, especially with something as finicky as shoes. How do you define the ‘best’ shoe anyway? That’s what we’re here to explore.
The history of the shoe is complicated. A German-born Martin Michaleli decided to go to America study. He went to study ‘Footwear Technology’ (don’t worry we didn’t know it was a thing either) and he began to draw up his plans for a shoe like no other. He left America and went not back to his home country but instead to rural France and began work on what would become the Rainbow.
Michaeli wanted to create something that was predominantly a walking shoe – something that could withstand various terrain and would stay comfortable for the user even on long hikes. He also wanted to create something that didn’t look out of place in town and was generally just a good looking shoe. Usually you have to choose – comfort or style – with the Rainbow – they’re up there with some of the most comfortable shoes in the world with many fans swearing by them. They also borderline indestructible and with Mephistos resoling service its not uncommon for users to bring the shoes in after 20 years of use for a reosole and getting back something close to a brand new shoe.
The final result was something that visually sits somewhere between a hiking boot and a trainer. The uppers are made from the best grain leather available – super durable and ridiculously comfortable, especially once broken in. The shoes are finished with their distinctive rainbow pattern and Mephisto brand tab sitting proudly on the side.
But where exactly do they get their legendary comfort from? It’s all in the construction. Each shoe is handmade by master shoemakers in their factory in France. This means that every pair of shoes produced by them is unique and will only become more unique with wear.
One of the first things you notice about the Rainbow is its thick, chunky, sole, and herein lies the key to the legendary comfort of the shoes. A technology developed by Michaeli and that is still used in the shoes to this day is what the guys over at Mephisto call ‘soft air’ giving the wearer an unapparelled walking experience. It also works as a shock absorber to reduce shock to your joints and vertebrae when walking on all kinds of surfaces. The extra cushioning also helps reduce fatigue in your feet so meaning you’re less likely to be left sore feet at the end of a long walk.
They also feature what they call Air-relax technology in the insole. Working to support the natural position of your foot especially in the arch of your foot and helps reduce pronation (the arch of your foot collapsing inwards). The insoles are also washable helping you keep your shoes and feet in the top condition.
The outersoles are also perforated to give you maximum air-flow over your feet – helping reduce perspiration and helping you maintain optimal temperature around your feet when out walking.
Another technology integrated is the ‘Air-Bag’ and ‘Shock-Absorber’ located in the heel of the shoe. Comprised of a hollow piece of rubber, the Air-Bag is designed to take the shape of uneven surfaces when walking. This works to absorb the impact of various terrain before reaching your foot, protecting your feet from impact.
So, as you can see, from these relatively unassuming shoes – a lot of work goes into them. With their distinctive look and amazing technology, Mephisto have perfected these shoes over years of giving you quite possibly the best shoes ever.
Here at Stuarts London we’ve got a whole range of colours and variations in stock. You can check them out online and instore.